The general purpose of the exchange visitor program is to promote international understanding through educational and cultural exchanges between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. An exchange visitor can come to the U.S. as a Professor, Research Scholar, Short Term Scholar, or Specialist. A visitor may come to teach, do research, observe or consult on a project. The length of stay on the J-1 visa varies depending on the program.
The Center for Global Programs & Services (CGPS) assists faculty and staff in bringing international scholars to campus and offers services to international scholars once they arrive. We provide information on immigration matters and prepare visa documentation for scholars. See below for information for and about J-1 scholars.
CGPS also provides visitors information on health insurance, social security numbers, driver's licenses and general information about the University of Delaware. You can find much of this information on the pages in the Scholars section and on the Life in the U.S. & at UD webpage. We host a variety of events for the international community at the University throughout the year, which can be found on our Events calendar.
The J-1 process must be initiated by a university department. The hosting department completes a DS-2019 Request Form for J-1 Visiting Scholars and submits the form to CGPS with all required supporting documents. Once CGPS receives the request, CGPS works with the department to identify the appropriate category and length of stay. This is determined by factors including the visitor’s background, the needs of the requesting department, and the nature of the project the visitor will be working on. CGPS will then send the exchange visitor a Form DS-2019 "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status". Exchange visitors can use the DS-2019 as proof of University sponsorship to apply for a visa, enter the U.S., and start their program.
J-1 exchange visitors cannot submit a "Request for J-1 Visiting Scholar Form" themselves. They must first be in contact with a department who will submit the request for them.
The hosting department must provide proof of financial support for the requested period of stay to CGPS. Funds can be from the University of Delaware, the U.S. government, the exchange visitor’s government, or the exchange visitor’s personal funds.
Exchange visitors (J-1s) and their dependents (accompanying spouses and children in J-2 status) must have health insurance that meets Department of State requirements. For information on J exchange visitor insurance requirements see the CGPS Healthcare webpage.
Hosting departments must verify that each exchange visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language.
Exchange visitors who are not in the U.S. must apply for a visa before they can come to the U.S. to start their program. Exchange visitors cannot apply for a visa until they receive their Form DS-2019 "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" from CGPS. Once the exchange visitor has that form, they can apply for a visa by following the instructions on the Department of State's Exchange Visitor Visa website.
For additional information on travel and visas see the CGPS Travel and Visas webpage.
J-1 exchange visitors may be subject to the 2-year home residency requirement based on the "exchange visitor skills list" or because they received government funding. This requirement impacts future eligibility for certain immigration benefits. If a J-1 is subject to the 2-year home residency requirement, the requirement also applies to his/her dependents.
Foreign nationals can fulfill the requirement in two different ways: (a) returning to his/her home country for an aggregate of 2 years, or (b) obtaining a waiver of the requirement from USCIS.
Note for current J status holders planning on applying for a waiver – contact CGPS before you start. Current J status holders who plan to seek a waiver must contact CGPS in regard to their visa status before beginning the waiver process, as it could impact their eligibility for J-status extensions.
Information on how to apply for a waiver of the 2-year home residency requirement can be found on the Department of State's website.
Each immigration situation is different. The regulations do not apply to every individual case in the same way. When and how the two-year rule applies varies by case. For more information about how the rule applies to your case, contact CGPS.
An individual who participates in the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar becomes subject to a 24-month bar on "repeat participation" in those categories after completing his/her program. This is true even if the program is completed in less than five years. The Professor or Research Scholar must wait two years from the end date of their previous program before beginning a new program as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar.
The 24-month bar only limits participation in a J-1 Professor or Researcher program. It does not limit participation in a J-1 Short Term Scholar program, or eligibility for other visas.
There is no waiver for the 24-month bar. Dependents are also subject to the 24-month bar.
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ISSS Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is provided as a service to international students, faculty, staff, employees, and administrators at the University of Delaware, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of official counsel. For assistance on your immigration status, we encourage you to contact an ISS advisor for specific guidance at email@example.com.